The political pundits have spoken. And they have not had anything good to say about Donald Trump’s inauguration speech… even some folks at Fox News.
Unlike the inspiring and uplifting speeches of past presidents, Trump spoke of a broken America that needs rebuilding and restoration. He talked of “mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.”
“This American carnage,” said President Trump, “stops right here and stops right now.”
Already some reporters are dubbing his inaugural address “The American Carnage Speech” (as Scott Pelley of “CBS Evening News” called it.)
Perhaps no one summed up Trump’s speech better than legendary newsman Dan Rather.
“His words and tone were angry and defiant,” said the man who covered many inaugurations for CBS News over a long career there. “He is still in campaign mode and nary a whiff of a unifying spirit. There was little or nothing of uplift — the rhetoric of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan. . . . I imagine many more being turned off, even sickened, rather than inspired by what our new President had to say. President Obama looked on with an opaque poker face. One could only imagine what he was thinking.”
Trump did eventually touch on the hope of a brighter future now that he is in the White House.
Echoing one of his favorite themes from the campaign trail, Trump said, “America will start winning again, winning like never before.”
President Trump offered a facile solution to the country’s economic troubles. Said the new president, “We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.”
This, of course, was an odd thing for him to say as most of his Trump branded merchandise is produced overseas and he has been known to hire immigrants to help his built his high-rises and work in his hotels.
Trump’s 16-minute inaugural speech was one of the shortest addresses in history. In light of its dark, uninspiring tone, that may have been more than enough for the comparatively modest crowd gathered in Washington D.C.